McKillop Among Top LBs At NFL Combine

The NFL Combine was held this past week at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The performances and evaluations were somewhat mixed for the three former Pittsburgh football players at the annual event:

Scott McKillop, 6-1, 244 McKillop actually measured 6-feet, 7/8 inches, so he's not as tall as some other inside linebackers. However, he's just as strong and quick. He finished among the top linebackers -- inside and outside combined -- in 5 of 7 events.

Aaron Curry (4.56) and Stanley Arnoux from Wake Forest (4.61), Gerald McRath from Southern Mississippi (4.61), Clay Matthews from Southern Cal (4.67), Jason Phillips from TCU (4.69), Jasper Brinkley from South Carolina (4.72), Brian Cushing from Southern Cal (4.74), Marcus Freeman from Ohio State (4.74), Zack Follett from Cal (4.75) and Moise Fokou from Maryland (4.76) comprised the top-10 performances in the 40-yard dash by linebackers.

Arnoux, Phillips, Brinkley and Cushing are the lone inside linebackers among the top-10 fastest 40 times, so McKillop was fifth in that group at 4.77 seconds.

McKillop bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. Only Cushing (30), Freeman (30), Kaluka Maiava from Southern Cal (30) and Anthony Felder from Cal (28) had more repetitions. Tyrone McKenzie from South Florida (27), Brinkley (26), Curry (25), Jonathan Casillas from Wisconsin (24) and Lee Robinson from Alcorn State (24) completed the top 10.

Curry, Follett and Freeman had the top vertical jumps among all linebackers at 37 inches each, but McKillop was next -- tied with Matthews -- at 35.5 inches. McKillop was tied for eighth with a broad jump at 9 feet, 11 inches. Curry (10-4), McRath (10-3), Arnoux (10-1), Fokou (10-1), Matthews (10-1), Phillips (10-0) and Cushing (10-0) jumped higher. DeAndre Levy from Wisconsin and Clint Sintim from Virginia were at the same height.

In the 3-cone drill, McKillop was sixth with a run in 7 seconds. Cushing (6.84), Matthews (6.9), James Laurinaitis from Ohio State (6.93) and Maiava (6.98) were faster. Dannell Ellerbe from Georgia also completed the drill in 7 seconds.

Freeman (4.12), Matthews (4.18), Maiava (4.2), Cushing (4.22), Ellerbe (4.23), Laurinaitis (4.24), Fokou (4.28), Phillips (4.32) and Brinkley (4.32) were the top performers in the 20-yard shuttle. McKillop's time was 4.39. He was fifth in the 60-yard shuttle in 11.66 seconds. Only Curry (11.35), Fokou (11.41), McRath (11.51) and Arnoux (11.64) were faster.

NFL Analysis Positives: Productive, instinctual player who sorts through the trash to get to the ball-carrier, seems to have an innate sense of how and when to slide through oncoming blockers. Very good backfield awareness, always seems to know where the ball is. Recognizes tight ends going out on delayed routes. Breaks down well in space and makes secure tackles in the open field. Can get to the outside to meet the back at the edge. Drops quickly and hustles to meet receivers in intermediate routes. Gets a good hit on slot receivers to knock them off their route. Knows where the sticks are and tries his best to keep underneath receivers from getting there.

McKillop Interview: Click Here

Negatives: (Note: I don't agree with the following). McKillop is only adequately developed in the upper and lower body. Does not have great speed to chase plays from behind, but generally makes up for it by taking good angles. Lacks physicality and runs around blocks instead of taking them on. Unable to get off blocks when engaged and is more of a catcher than a hard-hitter or fierce tackler. Is not explosive off the snap when blitzing.

Linebackers video (sorry, no McKillop): Click Here

C.J. Davis, 6-2, 308 Davis just hasn't measured up when compared to other offensive guards this past week at the NFL Combine. He's rather small, comparatively, in height, weight, arm length (32 3/4 inches) and hand length (9 1/2 inches). He ran the 40 in 5.53 seconds, which isn't in the top 20 among interior offensive linemen. Only one offensive lineman ran the 40 in less than five seconds, tackle Lydon Murtha from Nebraska in 4.89, but nine others were less than 5.2

Davis bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times, which is much less than his peers. Offensive guard Louis Vasquez from Texas Tech led the way with 39 and 12 other O-linemen had at least 30 reps.

NFL analysis Positives: Stout wide-body inside. Versatile enough to handle all three interior spots. Nimble setting up for pass protection. Quick getting his hands up after the snap and can land his punch. Puts his man on the ground when run blocking. Calls blocking assignments, even before shifting to center. Can anchor and drive his man backward. Wins the leverage battle in short-yardage situations. Vocal leader on and off the field, coaches call him a hard worker at practice.

Negatives: His lack of height may make him a better center than guard. Not fleet-footed when getting ahead of screens. Ineffective cut blocker. Relies on his upper-body strength too much instead of moving his feet in pass protection. Does not always recognize late blitzers. Holds too long on assist blocks and can't recover to pick up defenders going to the quarterback. Must lock onto defenders in the open and sustain those blocks more consistently; linebackers can disengage from him too easily.

LeSean McCoy, 5-10, 198 McCoy wasn't that big to begin with, but dropped 10-12 pounds this past week due to flu-like symptoms. His arm length was 31 3/4 inches, relatively long among the running backs, but his hand length was 8 7/8 inches, somewhat smaller than most of the backs. He did not compete in any individual events due to his illness, but will work out for scouts at Pitt's Pro Day on March 17.

NFL Analysis Positives: Fast enough to get the corner and owns a second and third gear in the secondary. Excellent inside quickness, hitting the hole in a hurry when in the one-back set. Gets to top speed as quickly as any back in the country. Special vision for the cutback and in traffic. Plants his foot and accelerates. Very elusive in space, with shifty hips and an ability to juke or shake off a defender. Maintains his balance well after making a move or running through arm tackles on the outside. Runs with a lean inside, will bounce off tackles and keep his legs moving. Patient enough to allow blocks to develop on stretch plays to the outside. Very natural hands as a receiver; will excel on swing and screen passes. Uses his quick feet to run crisp out routes. Ultra-competitive; works hard in the film and weight rooms. Wants the ball on every play.

Negatives: Doesn't have great size or the compact strength of elite backs. Must prove he can get the tough yard and not dance to try and break a big play when it's not there. Invites turnovers by running with the ball very loosely. Doesn't always switch the ball to the outside hand. Runs out of control at times. Some of those cutbacks will not work against the speed of NFL defenses. A liability in pass protection, throwing a shoulder instead of moving feet to take on or even just get in the way of a rusher. Whiffs on cut blocks against blitzing linebackers.

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